NBA Free Agency is a lot like playing the lottery. You spend and spend praying that you get results that can have you set for life. In the NBA, teams look at a player’s performance over the course of their career or in some instances a career season and throw insane amounts of cash in hopes those feats can be duplicated. The Memphis Grizzlies are playing a dangerous game with their bank account by signing PG Mike Conley and SF Chandler Parson to a Max deal.
I guess the economy in Memphis is wonderful, business must be booming at the Elvis Presley estate. Fed Ex is doing big things in terms of shipping so it must be okay to play the role of the New York Yankees but more than likely will end up like the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Yankees have the capitol as well as the Dodgers but winning is second nature to the pinstripes while the Dodgers spend, they have nothing to show for it but broken promises. The Grizzles may be headed in that direction next season if they continue on their current trend.
Conley has been solid throughout his career but to be paid like an All Star is good for him but bad for the team and the NBA. The Grizzlies have underachieved over the last 5 years and while Conley is not solely the reason he is part of the problem. His career averages of 14/6 are well below max money, as far as star quality, he is light years behind the likes of Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, John Wall, Damion Lillard and more. How can you reward those numbers with 20M+ a year? But Conley wasn’t the only signing that left fans alike shaking their heads. The Grizz also withdrew another large deposit for the services of Chandler Parsons. Yes, the same Parsons that has a yearly reservation with the injury list.
The Grizzlies are a power team, especially in the post with Gasol and Randolph but Conley has been unable to make those players better. His job is to penetrate and kick out but he has yet to reach that level and to be honest he might not ever reach that ceiling. $153M for a player that has yet to make an All Star appearance in his career or average more than 7 assist in a season. Defensively he is average but the Grizzlies felt like he was worth that money. Parsons however, when healthy has a great upside and should see plenty of opportunities with this unit but can you trust him for a full season?
A lineup that feature Conley, Gasol, Parsons and Randolph alone should be good for 50+ wins but it’s what they do in the post-season that counts. The Dodgers are built the same way, they have spent in efforts to be the new generation Yankees but have failed miserably. Money does not guarantee championships, and if you are going to spend, please spend it on players that have earned it, not ones you wish will earn it. Conley is a solid player and so is Parsons but to break the bank for role player stats is outrageous, at least the Dodgers can say their big money guys are either former or current All Stars.